Skip navigation

Eastern Promises

Globe and Mail Update

Eastern Promises *** David Cronenberg (Canada/U.K.)

Here, Cronenberg takes his keen nose for violence to London, where the Russian mob is running amok – slit throats, drugged prostitutes, heroin imported from Kabul, diaries with dirty secrets, not to mention the taciturn Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen), a man of few words but many scary talents. Sure, it's just a crime thriller, yet a genre flick by Cronenberg is always a different sort of beast and, courtesy of his usual strong casting and measured pacing, this one has quite the roar. Yes, it also has that already-celebrated fight scene, the punch-up in a bathhouse where towels are shed along with the blood. What it doesn't have is the thematic resonance of A History of Violence, a film that exploited the genre even while transcending its limitations. Eastern Promises definitely delivers, but not on that scale. Rick Groen Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m., Roy Thomson Hall; Sept. 9, 9:30 a.m., Ryerson

Recommend this article? 1 votes

Back to top